“It’s just for the Internet!”
I hear that all the time.
No one says,
“Oh, it’s just a postcard. It doesn’t need to look great.”
“It’s just a magazine ad. I’ll just take the picture myself with my little point-and-shoot.”
Yet, for some reason, we think that a medium whose views could easily dwarf these other venues, isn’t worthy of the attention to quality and detail of the printed page.
Graphs depict the cost per view of a thousand postcards, a full page ad in a large national art magazine,
and a 1,000,000 impression Facebook campaign.
Cost of postcard is $500 including design and postage, cost per view… $.50
Magazine Ad cost of $5000 based on published rates and includes design services cost per view… $.10
Facebook costs of $130 based on sample CPM rate of $.13/1000 impressions. Cost per view … $.00013
With the growing importance of the Internet for marketing and sales, it's crucial that any representation of your work be as accurate and positive as possible. 5 or 6 years ago, one could rightly say, "It's just for the Internet" and not worry at all about the quality. After all screens varied widely in quality, age and condition. There even were a few monochrome screens around! Today however, the Web is viewed on far better screens, on tablets and phones with amazing clarity, fidelity, and resolution, and on laptops with screens that rival the best desktop monitors. The Internet is potentially, your biggest marketing asset. The small file size is not an excuse to provide a poor quality reproduction, in fact they require and deserve far closer attention . If you do it right, the Internet can and will provide thousands of potential customers their only chance to view your work.
It’s not hard to get great photography for Web use. In fact it’s more a factor of planning and choosing the right photographer. You should be getting every piece of artwork photographed in the first place. Even if you don’t plan on doing prints immediately (or ever!), you’ll need accurate , high quality scans for submissions to galleries, promotional pieces ( postcards, brochures, gallery guides and ads) and for use on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and of course your blog and website. A good photographer will provide you with properly optimized versions of your scans to fill these needs. They should be willing and able to work with you if you have a special need, too. If you wait until your painting is sold, you miss out on much of the potential value of a properly captured image, namely it’s ability to help you sell the work faster by expanding fan base.
So don’t skimp on your photography. Your best chance for a sale might be spoiled by uneven lighting or a bad exposure!